‘When It’s Springtime in Alberta’

  • May. 17, 2017 12:30 a.m.

After weeks of unending winter, spring has burst upon us. Almost overnight, the muted browns and grays of winter seemed to transmute into the giddy green of spring. What a joy it is to feel the warmth and see new life unfold.

I have tried to spend as much time outdoors as possible over the past weeks, exploring the wonderful big backyard of Central Alberta.

Male yellow-headed blackbirds—beautifully adored in yellow and black—liven up our wetlands with their colour and activity. It is quite comical to watch them sing: they spread their tail and wings, stretch their neck, gape their beak skyward and—ever-so-earnestly—utter a series of miserable, rusty-door-hinge-like squawks.

Snowshow hares are now sporting their brown summer attire. Only their feet and the tips of their ears remain white. This hare was nibbling on the delectable new tulips at Ellis Bird Farm. I am convinced that it cast me a guilty stare before hopping off.

Fox kits at many dens are old enough to be emerging and starting to explore the world . I have been fortunate enough to spend time at two different dens. There is nothing quite so adorable as baby foxes!

Canada geese start hatching in Central Alberta during the second week in May. Although they are now so abundant that some people consider them to be pests, it is always heart-warming to see the newly hatched goslings.

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